The Marxist-nationalist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has threatened to call for a boycott of goods from India. They allege that India is interfering" in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka
If the JVP does call for a boycott of Indian goods, and enforces it, the loss to India will be tremendous. India exports goods worth $1.8 billion to Sri Lanka every year. The island is India's largest trading partner in the South Asian region. India is the fourth largest foreign investor in Sri Lanka, having pumped in $500 million. India had also given Sri Lanka credit to the tune of $281 million in the past four years.
No call by the JVP can be taken lightly in the current political context, because it has 38 members in the Sri Lankan Parliament and the Rajapaksa government is dependent on the JVP MPs for its survival.
It would be worth remembering that twenty years ago, in 1987-88, the JVP had tried to enforce a boycott of Indian goods in protest against the India-Sri Lanka Accord and the 13th amendment.
Now lets take a look at JVP's friends in India. Well no surprises there. Its the usual culprits CPM and CPI.
CPM has been inviting JVP for their party congress for last three decades. However, this year they didnot invite them due to their alliance with DMK in Tamilnadu. The JVP, which stands for a “unitary Sri Lanka”, wants the Tigers wiped out, whether through military combat or ideological means. While, CPM has identified Tamil Nadu as one of the “priority” states where it can improve its base, and is keen to avoid alienating the large sections of Tamils sympathetic to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
The CPI, however, has invited the Sri Lankan party to its party congress, to be held in Hyderabad from March 23 to 27. JVP parliamentarians Bimal Ratnayake and Ramalingam Chandrasekhar are expected at the conference.